Fit, focused and fighting for what’s right – legally speaking

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Michelle Raven
  • 39th Staff Judge Advocate
All members of the 39th Air Base Wing should be fit, focused and fighting for what's right, and your legal office is here to help make that happen.

Being fit for duty extends well beyond physical fitness. In the legal context, all Airmen should have their personal affairs in order so they can be prepared to deploy at a moment's notice and to execute our mission without any impediments. We strongly recommend that members with dependents take time to prepare wills so their dependents will be taken care of in the event of an emergency. We also recommend that members consider having advance medical directives prepared in order to ensure the proper people can make decisions for you when you cannot make them yourself.

Additionally, lots of pesky legal issues arise in everyone's life, whether they are landlord-tenant disputes, divorces, identity theft or other legal issues. Dealing with those promptly is critical in being "fit to fight." Please take the time to become "legally fit," and the legal office can assist you in doing just that.

Mission focus is critical to the 39th ABW's success, and unfortunately we see the result of Airmen losing that focus all too often in the military justice realm. Many of the Articles 15 we process are for duty related offenses: not showing up to work on time, Not performing duties and being disrespectful to superiors are a few examples. For each of these offenses, the Airmen lost focus on the mission. As we all know, we can never fully take off the Airman uniform, and misconduct off-duty also degrades mission performance. Drinking too much, getting into fights and hurting fellow warriors takes people out of the fight and forces superiors to deal with the situations, costing valuable work time. Airmen who engage in this behavior lose their focus on the mission and erode our capabilities. Stay alert and ready both on and off-duty, and always be mission focused.

Col. Eric Beene, 39th ABW commander wants us all to fight for what's right, and perhaps the most significant way we can do that is through enforcing standards. We must have the moral courage to think in terms of what is right, not what we can get away with, and we must hold each other to those standards. Improper behavior and failure to meet standards must be identified and corrected. When necessary, the person misbehaving unwilling or unable to meet standards must be removed from our ranks. Airmen do not have the option of looking the other way.

Whether it be briefing units on ethical conduct, assisting clients or advising commanders and leaders on discipline and operational issues, the legal office is proud to serve Team Incirlik and our geographically separated units as we help each other remain fit, focused and fighting for what's right.